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. president barack obama and first lady michelle obama sit down for an intimate and revealing first interview together since the election. only with barbara walters. >> how do you keep the fire going? >>> trimming the trees with the first dog bo. inside a special tradition. how they deck the halls at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >>> and ask mrs. obama. first graders with a very special connection to the white house tree ask their questions of the first lady. >> do they give each other presents? >>> from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden, and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," december 26th, 2012. >>> good evening, i'm terry moran. for a holiday, this has been a busy time in washington. as the negotiations surrounding that looming fiscal cliff come to a fever pitch just before the new year. but this is also a time of tradition and celebration in the nation's capital, and nobody decks the halls like the team at the white house for christmas. christmas is there, has come to mean a special visit every year, not just from santa claus, but from abc's ow
and mrs. obama at the white house. this interview was taped days before the tragic shooting in connecticut and was postponed until now. it was the first time the couple sat down together since winning re-election. mrs. obama also took me on a personal tour of what is called the people's house. and it's never more true than during the christmas season. after thanksgiving, more than 80 volunteers from nearly 40 states descend on the white house, trimming 54 trees, plus every nook and cranny. first dog bo is the star of the show. there he is inspecting the decorations, including this larger than life model of himself, made of 20,000 pompoms. my friend. >> yes, bo. he's really big in relation to this house. >> this 300-pound ginger bread white house was the first stop on my exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with first lady michelle obama. these are various rooms in the actual white house. >> absolutely. and the details in these rooms are just beyond this year. >> why peer into these windows when i can see the real thing? >> come on, bo. >> does he follow you around all day? next stop, the red r
>> president obama and congress are miles apart, but with the president cutting his vacation short, is there time for a resolution. the srkd term shuffle is getting complicated. >> chinese food for former president bush surrounded by family. still in a houston hospital after his health has taken a turn for the worst. good morning. it's wednesday, the day after christmas and this is "the daily rundown" and i'm luke russert for chuck todd. just more day in paradise for president obama while the rest of the family stays in hawaii. he will head back later this evening. he did take out with the first lady to express gratitude with service members on behalf of the nation. >> we know it's not easy, but what we also want you to know is you have the entire country behind you and all of us understand that we would be nowhere without the extraordinary service that you provide. i want to say thank you and we love you. >> kristen welker is live in honolulu. it's early in the morning there, but president obama traveling home to d.c. 10:00 p.m. hawaii time. there doesn't seem to be a lot of urgen
president obama to congratulate him. >> i congratulated him and paul ryan on a hard-fought campaign. >> i pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. >> we are an american family, and we rise or fall together. the task of perfecting our union moving forward. >> tonight, we are celebrating the year in the news, the winners, the losers, the person of the year. and we will hand out the donald trump award. all right, let's start with the most valuable player of 2012, alex wagner. >> in my book, it is david, you saw the beginnings, with dean, and obama. >> krystal? the most valuable player? >> probably to waiter who placed the camera at the mitt romney fundraiser and captured the 47% comments, which i think showed a lot of people their concerns about mitt romney and the fact he really was not there for all of america. that he didn't understand the problems that average americans were facing. >> let's listen to that little moment of video history. the 47%. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president, there are 47% of people who are with him. who believe
. health care costs are going up. obama care is increasing alert . insurers have to take all comers and that will put a strain on it and mandates, consumers may not want them and politicians say you must have them and insurance costs are going up and we the people will be losers. >>> and the hobby lobby face a fine 1. 5 million if they don't do what the government said they have to do via the health care law. >> i was corrected. 1.3 million a day. that is the daily fine they have to pay. >> let's make an important distunction we are not buve for dinner bets. mipemine is open for the anybody who doesn't think they will get exempted. i think it is. they have been giving health care to the employees over in the charity for years. theiro ligation is not health care, but it is a religious problem and it is going to be dealt w. i hope that the corporations in the country will take a lesson and understand the importance of health care to employees instead of cutting hours. >> and emac. hobby lobe just received notice from the court this week that they are not going to get an exception and
people. now, number three, not once in the time has president obama demanded that the senate do their job. this is the height of irresponsibility. number four, the president's main focus has been to attack republicans again and again yet republicans they have done their job. they passed a bill months ago to avoid this fiscal cliff. now, that bill has been come meetly ignored by -- completely ignored by senate democrats and by the president. number five the worse part of all there is nothing here that the president is proprosing that deals with the real clear present danger that america now faces. reckless borrowing, reckless spending generational theft that brings america to the point of bankruptcy. the president has given the country over $6 trillion in new debt. trillion dollars deficits as far as the eye can see and all he wants to fight for is higher taxes that will fund a mere 8 and a half days of government. frankly nothing but a pathetic disgrace. you the american people deserve a government that lives within its means. you deserve a government that is not obsessed with using your
spe-- scal back his expectations, and he said it is time for compromise. >> president barack obama: we move forward together sore we don't move forward at all. so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays, i hope it gives everybody perspective. >> reporter: if nothing is done by the end of the year taxes go up on everyone and unemployment benefits would end for about 2 million americans. jamie? >> jamie: steve centanni working the story for us in washington. >> rick: it looks more and more likely, there may not be a deal. what would it mean? according to the tax policy center, 90% of americans would see a tax hike next year, 121 million people will pay more in payroll taxes and families making between 40 and $55,000 a year will have to pay an extra 2 grand to the government. >> jamie: an american marine veteran was jailed for months in mexico and may be back on u.s. soil today, just in time for christmas. jon hammar spent four years fighting in iraq and afghanistan to be locked up for trying to bring an antique shotgun into mexico, where he was taking a
this they go talk to president obama and hairy reid, come back to say, sorry we're not atloud work the deal. they didn't want to deal then. they don't want a deal now. it worked out well for them not to allow a deal last time. they blamed us last year. them and it worked and got go over the cliff? blame republicans. not let the senate pass anything. we get away with it, again. >> allmúwu right. here is the quandry l dilemma. congressman> i think it does. the house acted. we acted on august 1 last week rejecting a proposal from our gone where the president wants to go and raise taxes onc-?9t certain folks. the senate has not acted. they haven't acted for 1
that democrats are terrible because they took $716 billion from medicare for obama care and what do we want to do? pocket the cuts and add more. our chief demand is entitlement cuts. medicare and social security. >> talk about the debt ceiling and where this is played in to this conversation. that is coming up in february or supposed to come up in february. john boehner made the offer to take it off the table for a year but i want to show what lindsey graham has to say over the weekend on "meet the press." >> the big chance for a big deal is that the debt ceiling. that's when we'll have leverage to turn the country around, prevent it from becoming greece and save social security and medicare and to anybody listening to this program, i'll raise the debt ceiling only if we save medicare and social security from insolvency and prevent this country from becoming greece. >> prevent this country from becoming greece. what is your reaction to that? >> absolute and utter nonsense. this country is not becoming greece. this country -- this country, frankly, has a big unemployment problem. we have a deficit
school in newtown, connecticut efforts turn now to preventing the next tragedy, with president obama appointing a task force for gun violence and members of congress calling for stricter gun control measures. but my guest this week says the heart of the problem is not the availability of weapons, but the abundance of individuals with severe mental disorders who are not being treated. dr. e fuller is the founder of the treatment advocacy center and author of the "insanity offense" how america's failure it treat the seriously mentally ill is endangering its citizens. doctor torrey. welcome here. and you've written you're not against guns, but people's access. how many people are we talking about across the united states. >> it's a gun problem and a mental illness problem and 7 million at any given time, of these, half are not being treated at any given time and about 1% or 70,000 are potentially dangerous at any given time and we're not treating those people. >> paul: how do we get around to treating them? we don't know, for example, that adam lanza really was mentally ill. we haven't
than a major success for the brotherhood. >> what does that mean for us and the obama administration and the new secretary of state, potentially john kerry, as we go forward? >> the foundation of american foreign policy in the middle east, the camp david accord, is in jeopardy. the brotherhood campaigned against it, morsi questioned it. the central premise of land for peace is at issue. you have a lot of other questions about the brotherhood's domestic policies in egypt but from the u.s. point of view, egypt's relationship with israel is at the center. following that, what is egypt's relationship with? morsi visited iran. i'm worried about that relationship and russian evans efforts to reestablish their ties. we're in for a worrying time in the middle east, but particularly in the relationship with egypt. >> not optimistic more 2013. embassador bolton, always good to see you, merry christmas. >> they can't to you and jamey. >> thank you so much. we have news about an international peace envoy from the u.n. headed to syria as chaos erupts. lockdarr will meet with bashar al-assad. he h
investors as the president speaking moments ago tries to calm the fray. plus, president obama making it official. >> i'm very proud to announce my choice for america's next secretary of state, john kerry. >> the president calling on the veteran massachusetts senator to fill secretary clinton's spot. plus in the wake of the new town shooting the national rifle association breaks its silence. >> out of respect for the families and until the facts are known, the nra has refrained from comment. >> harris: and the group's ceo placing some blame. >> we have flood soaked films out there. vicious, violent video games. >> and the nra offering a proposal, an armed officer in every single school in america. also, mexican police locked up this former u.s. marine months ago, accused him of trying to bring a gun into the country. >> a lesser person would have pleaded guilty. >> they chained him to a bed and reportedly threatened his life. but this marine stayed strong. and now time finally to come home. i'm harris faulkner in tonight for shepard smith. and we begin tonight with president obama's n
. >>> the physicianel california divten days away. president obama and house speaker john boehner thousands of miles away from each other. both men left washington for the holidays. president obama and family are in his native hawaii for a short christmas break. we'll have a live report from hawaii and the latest on the fiscal cliff talks a few minutes as well. >>> it's official. bp oil company will pay up to the tune of $7.8 billion. that is a class action settlement amount they agreed to pay, about 100,000 businesses and individuals hurt by the biggest oil spill in american history. a federal judge formized the settlement yesterday. a lot of gulf coast residents opted out of the class action suit and are pursuing lawsuits on their own. >>> in egypt today, more effects of a brand-new government's growing pains. the vice president is out. he is stepping down there. this man, mahmud mechanicy announced political life does not agree with him, and he'll go back to being a judge. it's the same day the egyptian people are voting for a second straight weekend on proposed changes to the country new islamis
determined by the exceptional success of people such as barack obama and oprah winfrey." and she makes a great point there, but at the same time can they be representative of the aspirations of the group at the same time? her point is brilliant but -- joe louis represented our interests. >> sure. sometimes exceptionalism works against the african-american community. but also they reflect our current moment. there's something to be said about the way race operates here and reflects our society today. >> dr. james peterson, thank you so much. that's "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. ezra klein is filling in for rachel tonight. not django. good evening, ezra. >> good evening, michael. thank you very much. and thank you to you at home for sticking around for the next hour. rachel has a well-deserved night off. but today on the senate there was a rare sighting on the senate floor. especially around this time of year. right now the senate is usually a bit of a desolate place, but today at exactly 2:34 p.m. eastern standard tim
>>> breaking news here. president obama, vice president biden, mcconnell, pelosi and reid and boehner are meeting to discuss the fiscal cliff. we are hearing the president's planning to present a smaller offer. for the latest, we bring in peter alexander from the white house and mike viqueira from capitol hill. peter, let's talk about what's going on at the white house meeting. i hear senators are optimistic about a mini deal which, of course, will raise taxes on those above $400,000. expand the amt, cut some spending. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, hearing a lot of different things right now. one of the items and ruled by rumor and then denials and frustrations, toure. we know that we saw senators mcconnell and reid arriving a short time ago. we didn't pelosi and boehner arrive yet but the vice president joe biden got here a short time ago, as well. there's other reporting from the hill right now about the potential that the president is going to return to what was basically his original outlined plan. perhaps a smaller plan but a plan where the threshold would
you, gerri. gerri: president obama is in washington negotiating a deal to revert the fiscal cliff. the first time and there are 500 billion in tax hikes coming your way. december 31. grover norquist from the president of americans for tax reform are warning that that is only the start of our problem. >> in addition to the bush tax cuts, 500 billion-dollar tax increases, a trillion dollars in obamacare taxes, all the taxes to pay for that free health care we are supposed to get. 90% of the tax increases to pay for obamacare were conveniently postponed until after obama got himself safely reelected. they begin to hit january 1 of this coming year. they are unpleasant. gerri: absolutely unpleasant. it is a disincentive to invest into work. i don't know what people are going to do down the road. now it seems that people are saying it's up to the senate. it's in the senate ballpark now to do something and to get some kind of bill. will they do anything at all? >> all the focus has been on president obama and the house of representatives. the leader, speaker boehner. some of us went to
: thank you. a federal tax credit for wind power producers expires in 2013. the obama administration is pushing for new taxpayer support for wind projects. with our budget deficit soaring an intense debate is heating up over whether the government should be throwing your tax dollars at industry the first place. i asked robert bryce, senior fellow at the manhattan institute about this issue. let's start with the tax credit. >> sure. gerri: this is industry, let's face it they don't have a whole lot to show for themselves yet we subsidize them to the tune of $1.2 billion. why? >> remember the industry said we're all about reducing carbon dioxide. that was the whole argument. now it shifted we create jobs argument. if congress does not extend production tax credit we'll lose 37,000 jobs. they might get an extension but there is big push among utilities, a lot of groups to end the tax credit and it very well could be ended. gerri: it doesn't work that well. 84% fail to produce electricity when the demand is great. as a solution to our energy problems how would you rate it? >> it is not a
of hot water for making nice with president obama in the wake of hurricane sandy. >> 2.8 million people without power. i've watched these extraordinary scenes over new jersey today, really quite unprecedented. i've never seen anything quite like it. have you ever seen anything like this in your lifetime? >> no, i haven't. you know, you see sights like the seaside heights board walk where the program "the jersey shore" is filmed, the board walk is gone. it is gone. music rides, roller coaster ride, in the ocean. it's incredible. homes destroyed. it's an awful thing. >> you've taken charge, as you've always done in these situations, in a very impressive way. people have been surprised you've been so outspokenly supportive and praiseworthy to the president. i'm not surprised knowing you but explain to me why you were happy to do that so close to an election when some might say politically that wasn't the best thing to do. >> this is much more important than any election, piers. this is the livelihood of the people in my state. when the president does this evenings that deserve praise, i wi
in on this. >> is "zero dark 30" or did the filmmakers get a bit too cozy with the obama administration? i'm howard kurtz and this is "reliable sources." >>> it was billed as a press conference, but it was anything but. wayne lapierre took no argument. he called for armed guards in school and ripped the media for reporting misinformation and failing to nail the real culprits. >> in a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society. by bringing in an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes. >> so, is there any validity to these bombastic charges against the press. joining us now here in washington, terence smith, former correspondent for pbs news hour and cbs news and "new york times." and tom foreman who attended friday's nra event. tom, what was it like being at this nra event? i won't call it a press conference. are you surprised that not a single journalist got to ask a question? >> it was not a press conference. all of us expected to exchange questions and answer
of all, we want to say merry christmas. >> president obama is cutting short his christmas break with the fiscal cliff looming large. >> the fiscal cliff gets closer. congress now has six days left to make a deal. >> aloha, hawaii. >> to my republican colleagues, the ronald reagan model is if you get 80% of what you want, that's a pretty good day. >> they were this close. they were this close to a solution. >> he's going to get tax rate hikes. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are. >> be republican and be conservative and pass a bill that cuts tax. >> boehner has no control over his extreme right wing faction. >> should anybody's taxes be raised at this point? answer yes or no. >> no. no. ♪ >> we begin as president obama and the senate head back to washington set for one last effort to avert the first fiscal cliff. aloha means good-bye for the president as he packs bound for the white house tonight. the president cutting short his vacation leaving michelle and the girls behind as he gets back to work to try to prevent tax increases and spending cuts due to begin n
. that's option one. the green one. option two is less certain. president obama reportedly challenged congressional leaders from both parties on friday to come up with a deal better than the one he proposed. the center piece of which is that the top marginal tax rate will increase for those earning $250,000 or more from 35% to 39.6%. that's only on the amount earned above that threshold. obama has told congress either they come up with something better or put his proposal to a vote. he's betting even those who hate the idea of a tax increase on the rich will hate causing america to go over the fiscal cliff even more. okay. option three. that's the red box. that's one where america goes over the fiscal cliff. jessica yellin is cnn's chief white house correspondent. peer into the crystal ball for us, jessica. which of these scenarios is most likely? >> well, ali, i think that after yesterday it's slightly more likely that there will be some sort of agreement. that doesn't mean that there are a whole bunch of optimists running around d.c. saying it's going to get resolved. but what you d
with these talks says that president obama is not going to be offering anything new during this afternoon's meeting. he's essentially going to be saying what he said at the white house last friday when he called on congress to put forth a package that would extend bush era tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less, extend unemployment insurance benefits, as well as stave off some of those deep spending cuts that are set to go into effect. the president is going to make the argument that he believes this can pass through both houses, but, of course, there is a big question mark over that. i have been speaking with republican aides on the hill who say house republicans are really waiting to see what the senate does at this juncture before they weigh in on anything that the president might say during today's meeting. but, of course, we will have to wait and see what actually happens. we're hoping the congressional leaders will talk to us and we'll have more information about what happened. >> it seems the political dynamics essentially in this meeting are -- he's not putting anything new on the table
substantially. president obama and house speaker john banner could not reach a compromise. it is now up to the leaders of the senate to try. they are working on a plan today. they're hoping to bring it to lawmakers to mark. >> as senate leaders work behind closed doors, president obama and republicans issued it messages on the web. >> we cannot afford itself- inflicted when to the economy. the economy is growing. keeping it that way means the folks you sent to washington have to do their jobs. >> if the nation goes over the fiscal cliff, each side says the other is to blame. correct we can still avoid going over the fiscal cliff if the president and senate step forward and work with republicans to solve the problem. >> all over the country, uncertainty is in the air. >> it is not a matter of whether i will pay might not like bill, but it will the played my savings. >> it is the perceived impact that could cause a drop in sails. >> getting a deal is up to the 's top democrat and republican. >> we are engaged in discussions in the hopes we can not come forward as early as sunday with a re
as president obama and republicans stare down the fiscal cliff deadline. >>> plus, a new worry for hundreds of american families who want to adopt. we'll tell you what is behind the controversial move by russian lawmakers. >>> and a new exposes what it calls the gun next door. is it a way to protect communities against gun violence? welcome to united states and around the world, wolf blitzer is off. i'm candy crowley. you're in "the situation room." >>> washington is a deadline-oriented city, and this coming week brings one that is a real doozy, billions in tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts take effect. it forces members of congress and president obama to spend the last few days of 2012 on the job. we want to bring in cnn chief white house correspondent, jessica yelen, we all know they would rather celebrate new year's eve elsewhere. how did they get here? >> reporter: it is such a good question, you know, candy, this grid lock in washington creates the eye-rolling. but the fundamental question goes to the essential differences between the two parties about the role of govern
that every obama has tried to do. it's really over a tax increase, and for what? it's really to stop primary challenges. that's what this is all about. i mean, it's really bringing the country to a standstill for their own political short term. >> "new york times" is talking about the urgency issue in all of this, and lacking urgency that we have witnessed. they say, yeah, with days left before the fiscal punch lands, both sides are exhibiting little sense of urgency. rather than to foster progress. perry is that the biggest thing, the primaries moving out of this and how everything looks back? >> i think there are two things going on. the first is democrats generally feel they won a man dade. they're not backing down -- the second thing is the primary issue. you have members of congress say last week there was a proposal to raise taxes, and a lot of republicans said i can't vote for that, a million only tax increase. they were worried about primaries. that's driving this in a very strong way. >>> there are people in washington, d.c. that will tell us this is how it all happens. congressman
about the offers and the counteroffers president obama and house speaker john boehner put on the table. if you live in the game area, you're going to be reading about the cliff whether you like it or not. we at starbucks have an opportunity and i believe a responsibility to use our company's scale for good, by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our officials to come together and reach important ground. this week, through december 28th, partners at our washington, d.c., area stores are writing come together on customer's cups. i am hugely in favor of this new starbucks initiative. not because i think writing come together on coffee cups will bring anybody in washington together, i have an embarrassing coffee order, i'm hoping they will write over my order and people won't judge me. >>> i want to step back and give you five things to remember this week. think of it as fiscal cliff notes. number one, there is a giant misconception to clear up. the thing people call the fiscal cliff, it equals too much austerity too quickly. this drives me up the wall. people seem to think the
summer connish in for chris matthews. president obama calls for congress to act on a scaled down deal that would spare the middle class on tax hikes from the first of the year. he spoke with john boehner tonight but is grand bargain still possible when everybody is leaving town. then in the weeks since the shooting massacre in a town that left hand 20 children and six educators dead, we've been hearing for plenty calling for new gun control laws but little from the nra until now. in a bizarre meeting, the head of the nra said the solution to gun vie lerchs in this country is simple. more guns. armed officers, in fact, in every school. it's the same line we've heard from nra, but has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown? and what we saw is yet another symptom of a real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise and they've lurched too far to the right. >>> plus replacing hillary clinton, john kerry gets the job he's waited for his whole life. president obama tapped john kerry as the next secretary of state. >>> and let me finish with the n
. but they did figure out how to fake symbolically repeal obama care 33 separate times. it didn't mean anything, but when there were things that didn't mean anything that were just symbolic, ultimately they figured out that they could get some of that stuff done. but when things really did matter, like in the debt ceiling standoff, when the republicans decided to block something they happily voted for dozens of times under republican presidents, they did end up having to vote to raise the debt ceiling, but not before they pushed the fight so far and so late that the nation's bond rating got downgraded explicitly because of the breakdown in basic governing capacity in washington. and the length and the ferocity and the pointlessness of that fight -- this to job growth for the term of that fight. not good. the "john boehner is bad at his job" hypothesis is by now a pretty well-founded hypothesis. that was the case even before mr. boehner's republican caucus just imploded last night and gave up and went home and asked the democrats to instead see if there is something maybe they instead can do at
from a fiscal cliff deal? how far? president obama said he and house speaker john boehner talked yesterday, it was their first conversation since monday, when the two sides offered up concessions on tax hikes for the wealthy, the president offered lower tax rates for people earning up $400,000 a year, and for computing entitled benefits. in his weekly address, boehner stood firm, his message for the president, the ball is in your court. >> the president and senate democrats have vowed to reject and veto all of our proposals and failing to offer responsible solutions of their own. when the president has offered so far will not do anything to solve our spending problem and address the crippling debt. and he refuses to challenge the members of his party to deal honestly with the entitlement reform and the big issues that are facing our nation. that is why we finds orz oursel here today. >> the president's christmas break in hawaii may be quick, he is planning to return to washington right after christmas, briana, live in hawaii, i'm wondering, we are talking about the fiscal cliff t
pay higher taxes. >> gregg: steve, thanks. >> heather: gregg, president obama is taking a break from the stress of fiscal cliff negotiations spending the holiday in hawaii. there is also a somber moment on his schedule. president and first lady attending a memorial service for daniel i inouye. >> he is leaving the fiscal cliff worries back home. we are told between christmas and new year's he'll be heading back to congressional leaders. you noted the somber moment today that the president and first lady right now as we speak are at punch bowl, national military cemetery on the island where the senator will be buried. harry reid has been making a speech moments ago and telling a where senator bob dole like senator inouye, they recuperated in michigan and later served in the senate together, bob dole walked up to the casket and lifted his left hand, his right hand was badly damage and saluted. a poignant moment. president obama at the washington cathedral, it was his really earliest political inspiration. both the president and senate majority leader reflecting on daniel inouye both a
holds up, wish him the best. thank you, dominic. >> reporter: absolutely. >> kelly: president obama announcing the first member of his new foreign policy team on friday. nominating massachusetts senator john kerry to become his next secretary of state, the move as the administration faces a host of pressing issues from the fallout over the september 11th terror attacks on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, to growing unrest in the middle east, as well as asia. our peter doocy has been following the story and live from washington. what are the details of the nominee? >> kelly, back in 2004, senator kerry let then state senator barack obama speak at his nomination, and it was a road to the white house. and yesterday at the white house president obama nominated kerry to be secretary of state in his second term. >> in a sense, john's entire life has prepared him for this role. as a son of a foreign service officer, he has a deep respect for the men and women of the the state department, the role they play in advancing our interests and values, the risks that they undertake and the sacrific
again at least. steve has the latest from capitol hill. >> sources are capitol hill say president obama in today's talks feels he has the advantage back and that he will press on his original demand that income taxes rise on earnings over $250,000. it's a positive sign, the first meeting since mid november the four congressional leaders at the white house. called by president obama, house speaker john boehner is a key figure. >> the fact that he has come back to me says that they cannot come up with some kind of agreement. -- that they can come up with an agreement. >> both sides want to avoid middle-class tax cuts. the hang up is the tax hikes on the rich. those making over $250,000 in the obama reposal or $400,000, a level that mitch mcconnell reportedly said he might be able to sel? republicans won the debate shifted. >> the talk about taxes, but what it should be about is what we want to talk about today -- the medicare fiscal cliff. >> no date to cut a day to reform entitlements by tuesday. >> if we do something right now to have long-lasting, adverse effects on economic growth, th
. >>> aloha means good-bye. president obama cuts his hawaiian vacation short to deal with the fiscal cliff. it is already too late? good morning, 7:00 in the east. i'm alina cho. >> and i'm drew griffin. soledad o'brien is off today. "starting point" begins right now. >>> our starting point, a cruel one. a one-two christmas punch from mother nature. tornadoes and blizzards tearing through the south and midwest. >> oh, my god. we need to go. it's right there. >> mobile, alabama, took a real beating. a twister blowing up transformers, leaving more than 25,000 customers without power. reports to damage to homes, a high school, and church. >> it came in behind the church right there, and then all green fluorescent lighting and popping transformers left and right. and we heard the crashing and everything and the power went out. >> i prayed to god as loud as i could, and i was just praying for my safety, and i knew the church was shaking. i just prayed that the church stayed put. >> here is the other half of this story, blizzard conditions blanketing much of the midwest and the northeast will ge
. now to candy. >>> happening now, new details of the meeting between president obama and congressional leaders for what could be a last-ditch effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. >>> families in the making ripped apart. russia officially bans the adoption of russian children by americans. >>> and for the second time in a month, a man pushed to his death from a new york city subway platform in the path of an oncoming train. wolf blitzer is off. i'm candy crowley. you're in "the situation room." >>> all eyes on that white house this hour. and the meeting that may be the last best chance to keep the country from going over the fiscal cliff. right now, the leaders of the house and senate are sitting down with president obama in a search for an 11th hour deal to prevent severe tax hikes and spending cuts from automatically kicking in with the new year. cnn's chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is getting new details. jess can ka, what are you hearing about that meeting? >> reporter: candy, the president is going to explain or reiterate the position he took on friday, that he would l
are waiting to hear if there's a deal in washington. tonight president obama addressed the country in talkses to. there's still no answer, but tonight the president says work is being done. >> congressional leaders left the white house today without a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. but the leaders and the president are still trying. >> i'm modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved. let's make sure that middle class families and the american economy and in fact the world economy isn't adversely impacted because people can't do their jobs. >> reporter: harry reid and mitch mccono agreed to spend the weekend working on a fall back plan that can pass both chambers of congress. >> some people will not like it, but that's where we are. >> reporter: president obama is pushing for a stop gap measure that would at least avoid tax increases on people earning less than $250,000. frustration is growing. a simple stop gap percent is not what men -- measure is not what many in washington hoped for. many blame president obama for the collapse of a bigger deal that would reduce spending and cut
attending a memorial service this weekend, president obama today enjoyed round of golf. the r&r in hawaii is not likely to last. with aides saying the president is expected to fly back to washington as early as wednesday. with hopes of a last-minute budget deal fading fast. >> it's the first time that i feel it's more likely that we will go over the cliff than not. if we allow that to happen, it will be, the most colossal consequencial act of congressional irresponsibility. >> republicans continue to insist the president wants to go off the cliff for political purposes. >> i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. he gets the additional tax revenue for new programs and he gets to cut the mill their, that democrats have been calling for and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> top allies note he has tried to get a deal for weeks and says the real problem that republicans won't admit that obama won the election. >> on taxes, i know it's hard for republicans but the president ran on the platform. 250. no tax increase for people below but taxes for people above. he wo
. we know that the obama administration over the course of the term has imposed 400 regulations that impose more than $100 million of costs annually on small businesses. the small business administration has said that there are so many regulatory burdens on small business that it cost them $10,000 per employee. those are the kinds of things that we want to stop right now so we can see more startup and jobs created. >> is one thing to hope for freezing regulations. but i guess we had hoped for "a-team" canaday. if you don't know these regulations, you could be in big trouble. let's say that you stop adding to the regulations. that alone has prompted the obama administration say, well, republicans don't want to protect us. how are you going to answer the predictable criticism that you're not looking out for folks, you are looking out for business interests? >> well, we are. we are saying in health emergey, of course. any sensible policymaker would say you have to be able to address those. but right now, the pendulum has swung so far that it's very difficult to even conceive starti
the storm. >>> and back to work in washington with five days to go. president obama comes back to washington to try to hammer out a deal with the senate, and we're hearing it may come down to the final minute of the year. >>> sticky gas pedals costing toyota $1 billion. the company's plan to put sudden acceleration allegations in their past and how you may we able to cash in on it even if you already sold your car. >>> a packed show ahead. congressman steven latourette of ohio, senator richard blumenthal of connecticut, plus the grinch. it's thursday, december 27th. "starting point" begins right now. >>> well, our starting point, a brutal winter storm battering the northeast and torturing holiday travelers all over the country. here it is on the radar. the system is expected to dump up to two feet of snow on central maine today. six states are under winter storm warnings, pennsylvania, new york, massachusetts, new hampshire, vermont, and of course maine. everyone there could see at least a foot of snow. more than 200,000 customers spanning several states are already without power. more than
john boehner, his plan b went bust. before leaving town president obama urged congress to pass a mini-plan that would preserve middle class tax rates. the president is now in his native hawaii for a quick christmas break. briana keiller joins us from honolulu. hello, briana. is this fiscal cliff deadline getting closer, what do we think will happen as the holidays rolls out here? >> reporter: well, there's one sort of last ditch effort possibility here, don, and that is when the senate reconvenes on the 27th, it's possible that either they could try to pass something and sort of force it on the house or it's possible that they could take a bill that they've already passed back in july with the threshold of those tax hikes being at the $250,000 level and that they could kind of say to the house, okay, now the ball is in your court. you have to deal with this, but it's still very much a possibility, don, that this doesn't work out, that we go over the fiscal cliff, and that was reflected today on the sunday shows from both democrats and republicans. take a listen. >> passing plan b, the
to turn the country around. >> president obama urged congress to get a deal done when they returned from christmas break. president obama was among the dignitaries that attended the memorial service for the senator. the world war ii was the first japanese-american elected to both houses of congress, serving hawaii for 50 years. he died of respiratory complications last monday. he was 88 years old. former president bush is still in stable condition in a houston hospital. the 88-year-old former president has been hospitalized since november undergoing treatment for bronchitis. doctors are opportunistic he will make a full recovery. they said today he still needs to build up strength before they can release him. no discharge date has been set . >> it looks like the weather will be active as we head into the holiday week. just a few scattered clouds right now. when we turn the corner toward christmas, that will change. it is dry right now at the airport. there is a chance we could see light rain or snow during the day on monday, christmas eve. it should be drawn on christmas day. a bigger st
obama is calling on both sides to find a compromise. >> before heading off to hawaii to celebrate christmas, president obama tried to give lawmakers something to think about on their own holiday break. >> think about the obligations we have to the people. >> nine days before the fiscal cliff and not a creature was stirring in washington. negotiations at an impasse. the president says he hopes the holiday spirit will inspire a change of heart. >> they can drink some eggnog and have some christmas cookies. >> republicans say the president's deal is too hard to swallow. >> it would hurt jobs. >> speaker boehner's plan to raise taxes on americans making more than $1 million a year was scuttled by fellow republicans. it is dead in the water with senate democrats. president wants to lock in tax cuts for 98% of americans. some house republicans refused to raise taxes on anyone. for a few days, both sides are setting aside politics. >> i wish all of the american people in a blast and merry christmas. >> merry christmas, ever ready. >> happy hollow -- happy holidays. >> the president and s
in the fiscal cliff negotiations. president obama is expected to make a statement on where things stand at any moment here. and with a preview we have fox businesses peter barnes. he is at the white house. peter what do we expect to hear? >> well, melissa, right now the president is finishing up on meeting with sete democratic leader harryeid who came down here to try to talk with the president with some strategy moving forward to avert the fiscal cliff. we expect the president to say that he still wants to get a deal with republicans to do that. that is still going to be time. however, that they will have to do it after the christmass3 holiday. the president plans, is planning to go to hawaii for christmas with his family. speaker boehner has left town. gone back to ohio. for the holiday. the senate is expected to come back on, on december 27th, the thursday next week, which is the earlit that they would be expected to get back to work on this. melissa? melissa: peter, who's left? sounds like it is a ghost town there. sounds basically two guys that are still left working. >> yeah, i don't kno
will plunge the economy back into recession. president obama flies back from hawaii tonight to be ready if the senate comes back with a plan when it returns to work tomorrow. and house leaders are huddling with members on stand-by to return. senior congressional correspondent dana bash is following all of it for us. what are you hearing? >> there was a conference call of course members of the house leadership even, they're back in their districts, but there was a conference call today among those house republican leaders trying to figure out if and when the house should come back into session. two republican sources tell me they did not make a decision on this call. it's still up in the air. and a big reason for that is if anything can get done in the next six days, the ball is in the senate's court. the capitol is a ghost town. neither chamber in session. an eerie calm since the fiscal cliff only congress has the power to avert is less than one week away. from their home, senate democratic leaders is trying to figure out if the president's scaled back bill can pass congress at the 11th
thou,000 a year. the bush tax cut will expire at the end of this year. obama was elected with a surplus of about three million votes. he won the election. he campaigned on this issue. again, the speaker can't take yes for an answer. the president has presented to him something that would prevent us from going over the cliff. it was response to something that the speaker gave them himself but i guess with the dysfunctional republican caucus in the house, even the speaker can't tell what they are going to do because he backed off even his own proposal. the house, we hear so often, is controlled by the republicans. and we acknowledge that. i would be most happy to move forward on something that senator mcconnell said they wouldn't filibuster over here that he would support and that boehner would support if it were reasonable. but right now we haven't heard anything. i don't know and it's none of my business, i guess, although i am very curious, if the speaker and the majority leader, the republican leader over here are even talking. i mean, what's going on here? mr. president, you can't le
, and officially president obama is supposed to be remaining here in hawaii through the new year, it seems likely he will be heading back to washington sometimes around when the senate convenes. and in the meantime, just up in the air about what is going to happen. is it going to be a very unmerry cliff-mass? perhaps. >> i feel like we should pause and listen to the best sound in the world behind you. the waves crashing on the beach. >> pretty good. thanks. >>> dana, as you know, the fiscal cliff crisis is bringing out the creative side of the "usa today" editorial board. >> with the president and congress on holiday break, the newspaper's editors decide a holiday poem was in in order. >> we decided it would be a great idea to read some of for you. >> twaz the night before cliff-mas, when all through d.c., not a politician was stirring, they'd decided to flee. their work was not finished but they did not care. the fiscal cliff looming they took to the air, voters watched this debacle with dressing dressed while visions of total victory dances in polls head. >> democrats balked at a tight spending
to the right to bear arms in the united states, and what president obama called the nation's epidemic of gun violence. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. we begin our special edition of "the situation room" by focusing in on the search for answers. why? why would a 20-year-old man kill his mother, then gun down 20 children and six adults at the sandy hook elementary school before taking his own life? why? police are not the only ones pouring over the evidence, exploring answers. medical investigators are all over this case as well. let's go to our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. he is joining us now. now, sanjay, you have been taking a very close look, potentially at the mind of a killer. >> yeah, and that question, why, wolf that you ask, it is hard to say for sure whether there is ever going to be a satisfactory answer to that. but there are several things that medical experts and investigators are going to look at, including specific patterns. we looked at ten of the most widely studied cases, tragedies, i should say i
the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, president obama cut his hawaii vacation short to return to washington today. but has he been working on a deal? "outfront" tonight, reports from both ends of pennsylvania avenue. chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, and senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. jessica, first, to you, the president's back in washington, wheels down. he left his christmas vacation early. but was this just a bit of showmanship, or has he been working on something specific? >> reporter: hey, john. well, today has been a bit of a quiet day here at the white house. publicly, the president has been scarce, no sign of him. behind closed doors, i'm told a few meetings internally, but mostly, relatively quiet. i expect we will see more from the president, perhaps we could even see him publicly tomorrow. perhaps he could even meet with or talk to some of the congressional leaders. the president's role in all of this, he can get each of the leaders to come closer on what the white house believes is already, pretty clearly, the framework for a final deal, and he can also
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